Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NFL week 1 wrapup

Thoughts on week 1

  • The Patriots had the ball nine times on Sunday against the Jets. They scored five touchdowns. They kicked one field goal. They missed one field goal. They took a knee at the end of the game. And they punted. Once. The failed third down play that led to the punt saw Brady hit a wide open Wes Welker on the hands beyond the first down marker, and Welker tried to turn upfield before he had possession. That was the one stop on the day for the Jets defense.

  • Randy Moss has something left.

  • But it's just one game. That goes for everyone. Probably, New England, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh are not as good as they looked, New Orleans, New York and Cleveland aren't as bad as they looked. You can't do much conclusion-drawing from one game. (OK, yes you can, but if they aren't drawn very carefully, they're exceptionally likely to be wrong.)

  • There's one exception to that. I think that we knew enough, even before the season started, to conclude that (at least) the three best teams in football are in the AFC. Is there any reason to suppose that there's an NFC team on the level of New England, Indianapolis or San Diego? (Or possibly even Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or Baltimore?)

  • Turmoil today, as the Patriots are facing cheating allegations. I am profoundly disinterested. Do I think that the Patriots were possibly violating both the spirit and the letter of the NFL rules for a competitive advantage? Yes. Yes, I do. Do I think that that they were doing anything that every other NFL team doesn't do? Nope. Will this, as a story, get far more play than it warrants? Absolutely.

  • The big NFL story of the weekend is actually unrelated to wins and losses. As I mentioned yesterday, the primary concern for all NFL fans should be the health of Buffalo TE Kevin Everett. As I write today, he is apparently still in the ICU, and there is no prognosis yet, but the news from the hospital has been mixed. We should know more at the end of the week, but thoughts and prayers still go out.

  • The Baltimore Ravens got screwed by the officials. With under two minutes left, Kyle Boller hit Todd Heap in the end zone for the tying touchdown in Cincinnati. The officials took it away on the most bogus offensive pass interference call I've ever seen. Offensive pass interference is a call that I don't think is made frequently enough, but that was a very, very bad call. Three plays later, a tipped ball interception at the goal line ended the Ravens' chances. Maybe they'd have lost anyway, but they earned a tie there, and the officials took it away.

  • I was off by one on the Colts score - I predicted that they'd score 42, they scored 41. Pretty impressive. If only I hadn't been off by 35 on the Saints score. Nice performance, New Orleans.

  • I said that there was no reason to pick Atlanta, then went ahead and picked them. Sometimes, I should listen to myself.

  • Best comment from my picks column: Jacksonville's not good enough to be a seven-point favorite over anyone." - Tennessee 13, Jacksonville 10

  • Runner-up: "Houston's got a new QB. While that generally takes acclimation time, it's a better situation to be in than the Chiefs, who don't have one at all." - Houston 20, Kansas City 3

  • Dumbest comment (and there are many to choose from): "Indianapolis won't stop the run well enough to sustain the Saints' drives. Reggie Bush breaks off at least 5 runs of more than 30 yards, and the Saints win a tight, defensive struggle (both defenses will struggle) 45-42." - Indianapolis 41, New Orleans 10

  • For the week: 10-6 (Frame it - that's very likely to be the best season of the year for me...

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